In The Lorax, Dr. Seuss, whose birthday MAAE is celebrating this month as part of our literacy through arts initiatives, wrote: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” MAAE cares, and we are making a better world for our children– thanks to YOU, our magnificent Board and members, and to those who support us, the Weissman Family Foundation and MAC.

Notably, our Arts in Academics Experiences Program is underway with eleven Mississippi Teaching Artists who have been matched with twenty schools and 8000 students in the counties of Coahoma, Yalobusha, Sunflower, Montomery; Hinds, Rankin, Scott, Lauderdale; Lamar, Perry, Stone, Hancock, and Jackson, covering North, Central, and South Mississippi. Our Arts in Academics Experiences Program is touching the lives of students and teachers, sharing best practices with trained, innovative Mississippi Teaching Artists, and contributing to the Creative Economy.

On March 26, YOU are invited to join Shannon Frost (MAAE staffer) from 11:30-2:00 for Day at the Capitol to network with supporters and state legislators around Arts-in-Education. Let our voices be heard on behalf of students everywhere as we tell the story of the power of the arts in learning. I’ll be delivering information packets on the work of MAAE and our many partners with our national legislators in Washington during that same week.

It is time to prepare for the 2015 MAAE Annual Arts in Education Awards. In addition, we are lovingly remembering MAAE Board Member Derek Pouncey with a student scholarship for a graduating senior accepted to college who is both an athlete and an artist, and for a teacher leader who proposes an arts-in-the-classroom or school project. Look for the Call for Nomination information and applications for these awards this week. Deadline for submitting nomination packets for the annual awards and the scholarships is May 22. This is your chance to acknowledge those who are doing the creative work throughout Mississippi. The Awards Luncheon Extravaganza will be held on Tuesday, July 14, in partnership with MAC at the Whole Schools Institute Conference at the MSU Riley Center in Meridian. Mark your calendar.

With Spring around the corner, my wish is that our work in arts education provides seeds that will blossom and grow across Mississippi.

Penny